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humidity of summer makes it a good season to
start a retinoid.
Another tip for starting a retinoid is to take some
time off with other skin irritants such as scrubs,
exfoliants, alcohol-based toners and astringents.
Avoid chemical peels, facials and waxing during
the early phase of adjusting to retinoids.
Focus on the thicker sun damaged areas of the
face taking care to avoid sensitive areas such as
lips and upper eyelids. After applying, immedi-
ately pat your skin with a tissue and if you are
using too much product the tissue will stick. Next
time, use about half the amount.
Because sunlight will reduce the effectiveness of
retinoids we always recommend applying before
bedtime. Cleanse the skin about 20 minutes prior
to applying a retinoid and let the skin dry. Re-
peat, let the skin dry. Moisture will increase the
risk of irritation that leads to the dryness and red-
ness caused by retinoids. Wait another 20 minutes
before applying moisturizers to avoid sealing the
retinoid into the skin.
Another special skin destroying threat caused by
living in Colorado is our high altitude. We get
more ultraviolet rays than our flat-land compan-
ions which means more sun damage, skin cancer,
and sunburns. Since retinoids help remove the
dead surface skin cells they also remove some of
our sun protection. Be extremely vigilant about
regular sunscreen and be sure to only use a prod-
uct with titanium dioxide or zinc oxide to truly
block the damaging UVA and UVB sun rays.
It may take up to a full year to get to your ideal
dose of retinoid so please be patient! Go slowly,
maybe using a
retinoid twice per
week for a few weeks,
then every other day
for a few weeks, with
daily use only when
you can tolerate com-
fortably. Those with
fair complexions and
sensitive skin will take
longer to get to daily
use and some may find
every other day use is
Retinoids for anti-
aging can produce
dramatic improves
in the overall health
and look of your skin.
Regular ongoing use
is necessary to keep
the benefits but your
reward will be more
youthful and sensa-
tional appearing skin.
* * * * *
Free Seminars at the
¡®Low Thyroid:
Misunderstood, Mis-
diagnosed, Missed¡¯ -
Monday, Nov 4th, 6p;
¡®Bioidentical Hor-
mone Replacement
for MEN¡¯ - Monday,
Nov 18th, 6p.
RSVP @ 970.245.6911
* * * * *
(Scott Rollins, MD, is
Board Certified with
the American Board of
Family Practice and
the American Board of Anti-Aging and Regen-
erative Medicine. He specializes in Bioidentical
Hormone Replacement for men and women, thy-
roid and adrenal disorders, fibromyalgia, weight
loss and other complex medical conditions. He is
founder and medical director of the Integrative
Medicine Center of Western Colorado (imcwc.
com) and Bellezza Laser Aesthetics (bellezzala- Call 970.245.6911 for an appointment
or more information.)
2013 November
Pg 6 - The Sunshine Express
Younger Skin
The Beauty of Retinoids
What skin care product can truly slow skin-aging
and turn back the clock on skin health? Only the
retinoids have decades of research showing they
can smooth fine lines, fade dark spots and make
pores look smaller. The only problem is that these
products can cause so much irritation that people
often give up long before any benefits are noted.
Here are some tips that will help you pick the
best product and enjoy younger, more incredible
looking skin.
First, here¡¯s what makes the retinoids so effective
at slowing skin aging. These vitamin A deriva-
tives bind to receptors in the skin cells and induce
many nourishing activities, such as turning up
production of the skin plumping and firming
collagen fibers while turning off the collegenase
enzyme that breaks down collagen. They increase
hyaluronic acid which is the jellylike material that
holds moisture in the skin, increase the turnover
of skin cells and encourage oxygen carrying
blood vessels to form. All this leads to firmer,
more radiant skin, with less sunspots, fine lines
and pores.
Retinol is the precursor to retinoic acid, the active
retinoid that works in the skin. Retinoic acid is
about 10-15 times stronger than retinol. This is
why over-the-counter (OTC) retinol products are
easier on the skin than the retinoic acid contain-
ing prescription creams.
Start gently, especially if you are a first time
retinoid user or have sensitive skin. OTC retinol
products are good choices because the retinol is
slowly converted to retinoic acid, which means it
will take more time (about 12 weeks) to notice a
difference in your skin compared with prescrip-
tion products (4 to 8 weeks).
Look for products formulated with at least 0.1%
of retinol (the most effective retinoid in OTC
versions) and packed in aluminum tubes (air and
light can degrade the formula, reducing effective-
ness). If you don¡¯t notice benefits after 3 months
and you tolerate this strength then consider
trying a prescription-strength formula. This is
a good approach anyway as the OTC product
will have helped your skin get prepared for the
prescription retinoid, so you¡¯ll be less likely to
suffer the irritation that is common with the more
powerful version.
For the best improvements in skin nothing
compares to the prescription retinoids. The most
commonly prescribed products for anti-aging
purposes are Renova (its emollient base makes it
especially suitable for those with very dry skin),
Avage (the strongest retinoid and is ideal for seri-
ously sun-damaged skin), and Differin (easiest
on sensitive skin). Your doctor will decide what
formulation (gel or cream) and strength will work
best for you and monitor your skin¡¯s response
over time, however, we see many patients that
are started on too strong of retinoid, so be sure to
request the lowest strength for starters. We gener-
ally prefer the gel formulations.
Take your time and plan ahead! It takes about 4
to 6 months for your skin to adjust and tolerate
a retinoid. Because of the normal irritation plan
to avoid major trips or events where you would
prefer to not have a red, slightly irritated looking
face! Colorado is especially tough on retinoid us-
ers because of our dry climate. The increased
Health & Nurturing
In Harmony
by Scott Rollins, M.D.
¡°Retinoids for anti-aging
can produce dramatic
improvements in the overall
health and look of your skin. ¡±
- Dr. Scott Rollins, M.D.
Aromatherapy is a form of alternative medicine
that uses plant materials, known as essential oils,
and other aromatic compounds, in the treatment
or prevention of disease. Uses include pain and
anxiety reduction, enhancement of energy and
short-term memory, relaxation, hair loss preven-
tion, and reduction of eczema-induced itching.
Many such oils are described by Dioscorides,
along with beliefs of the time regarding their
healing properties, in his De Materia Medica,
written in the 1st century. Distilled essential
oils have been employed as medicines since the
invention of distillation in the 11th century, when
Avicenna isolated essential oils using steam distil-
lation. French surgeon, Jean Valnet, pioneered the
medicinal uses of essential oils, which he used as
antiseptics in the treatment of wounded soldiers
during World War II.
Two basic mechanisms are offered to explain the
purported effects. One is the influence of aroma
on the brain, especially the limbic system through
the olfactory system. The other is the direct
pharmacological effects of the essential oils. The
evidence exists that essential oils may have direct
therapeutic potential. Clinical studies of aroma-
therapy in combination with other techniques
show positive effects. Aromatherapy may or may
not directly cure conditions, time and study will
tell, but it¡¯s been proven to help the body to find
a natural way to cure itself and improve immune
response. (source:
Essential Oils Boost Immunity
Retinol (Vitamin A) in 3D